schizoaffective disorder treatment

Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment: Mile High Recovery’s Approach

Discover holistic schizoaffective disorder treatment at Mile High Recovery Center.

Mile High Recovery Center: Your Partner in Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment

At Mile High Recovery Center, we understand the unique challenges faced by those living with schizoaffective disorder. Since 2016, we have been helping people in the Denver area heal and build a foundation for long-term recovery.

We believe in the power of “whole-person” healing, addressing the mind, body, and spirit. Because of this, our compassionate team is dedicated to integrative, individualized care.

We offer many evidence-based therapies and holistic approaches, tailored to each client’s needs.

schizoaffective disorder treatment

Navigating the Complexities of Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is a complex mental health condition. It is marked by symptoms of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder, like depression or bipolar disorder. This unique combination can be challenging to live with.

It significantly impacts:
  • Thoughts
  • Emotions
  • Behaviors 
If you or someone you love is struggling with schizoaffective disorder, know that you’re not alone. Mile High Recovery is your dedicated partner in schizoaffective disorder treatment.

Understanding Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is marked by a period of uninterrupted illness where symptoms of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder occur at the same time. This occurs for a significant part of the active and residual phases.1
Symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders include:
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Mania 
  • Depression

Diagnostic Criteria

The DSM-5 outlines the specific criteria that must be met for diagnosis. These criteria include:2
  • Presence of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech/behavior for at least two weeks in the absence of prominent mood symptoms.
  • Mood symptoms (mania or depression) present for a large portion of the total illness duration.
  • The disturbance is not caused by substance use or a general medical condition.

Symptoms and Effects

Symptoms and effects of schizoaffective disorder can vary widely from person to person. But, some of the common symptoms are detailed below.3

Psychotic Symptoms

Psychotic symptoms of schizoaffective disorder include:
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there)
  • Delusions (strongly held false beliefs)
  • Disorganized thinking or speech
  • Disorganized or abnormal motor behavior

Mood Symptoms

Mood symptoms can include:
  • Depressive episodes (feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness)
  • Manic episodes (elevated mood, increased energy, racing thoughts)
  • Mixed episodes (combination of depressive and manic symptoms)

Other Symptoms

Other symptoms to look for may include:
  • Cognitive impairments (difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions)
  • Social or occupational dysfunction
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety or agitation

Risk Factors

The exact cause of schizoaffective disorder is unknown. But, several factors may raise the risk of developing the condition.
These include:
  • Genetics: Having a family history of schizophrenia or mood disorders increases risk.
  • Brain development: Abnormalities in brain structure and function are linked to the condition.
  • Environmental factors: Early childhood trauma, substance abuse, and stressful life events may play a role.

How is Schizoaffective Disorder Distinct from Schizophrenia and Mood Disorders

Schizoaffective disorder shares symptoms with both schizophrenia and mood disorders. But this condition is distinct from each of them.

Schizophrenia vs. Mood Disorders

Schizophrenia is characterized by psychotic symptoms, such as:
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Disorganized thinking
Mood disorders are characterized by disturbances in mood, such as depressive or manic episodes, without psychotic features.
Schizoaffective disorder involves a combination of both types of symptoms. Because of the unique blend of both elements, schizoaffective disorder is a complex and challenging condition to diagnose and treat.

Challenges in Diagnosis and Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment

Diagnosing schizoaffective disorder can be challenging. This is due to its symptoms overlapping with those of other mental health conditions. The fluctuating nature of symptoms can further complicate the process.
Here are some key challenges:
  • Differential diagnosis: It’s hard to accurately differentiate schizoaffective disorder from other conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective bipolar type. It requires careful assessment by a qualified mental health professional.
  • Tailored treatment plans: The unique blend of symptoms necessitates personalized treatment plans that address both the psychotic and mood components of the disorder.
  • Comorbidity: Co-occurring substance abuse issues can complicate treatment and need integrated approaches.

Increased Likelihood of Co-Occurring Disorders in Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment

People with schizoaffective disorder are significantly more likely to experience co-occurring disorders compared to the general population. This can further complicate the treatment process. It requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both the primary condition and any co-occurring issues.
Here’s a breakdown of the increased likelihood and treatment considerations:

Increased Likelihood of Co-Occurring Disorders

Below are some common co-occurring conditions seen in schizoaffective disorder treatment:
  • Substance use disorders: Studies suggest that nearly 50% of people with schizoaffective disorder struggle with substance abuse. It’s often used as a form of self-medication to cope with symptoms.4
  • Anxiety disorders: Anxiety disorders in generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. These conditions often co-occur with schizoaffective disorder. This is potentially due to shared underlying risk factors or the stress of managing the primary condition.
  • Depressive disorders: Major depressive disorder is another frequent co-occurring condition. Symptoms like low mood, hopelessness, and fatigue potentially worsen a person’s mental state.
  • Personality disorders: Certain personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, may co-occur with schizoaffective disorder. This presents additional challenges in managing emotions and relationships.

Treatment Considerations for Co-Occurring Disorders in Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment

Below are some commonly used approaches to co-occurring disorders in schizoaffective disorder treatment:
  • Integrated treatment: A crucial aspect of addressing co-occurring disorders is integrated treatment. This combines therapies and interventions specifically tailored to each condition. This ensures that all aspects of a person’s mental health are addressed together.
  • Dual diagnosis programs: Many treatment centers, including Mile High Recovery Center, offer specialized dual diagnosis programs designed to address the unique needs of people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Medication adjustments: Depending on the specific co-occurring disorder, medication regimens may need to be adjusted. In some cases, additional medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms effectively.
  • Individualized therapy: Individual therapy sessions can address the specific challenges and emotional vulnerabilities associated with co-occurring disorders. This equips people with coping mechanisms and emotional regulation skills.
  • Support groups: Connecting with others who understand the complexities of co-occurring disorders can provide invaluable support, encouragement, and a sense of belonging.

The Mile High Approach to Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment

At Mile High Recovery Center, we know that treating schizoaffective disorder takes compassion. It also takes an individualized approach. That’s why we’ve designed a specialized program tailored to address the unique needs of each client.

Our Specialized Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment Program

We designed our schizoaffective disorder treatment program to meet the unique needs of each person with this condition. We offer a comprehensive range of services, including:
  • Inpatient treatment: For those needing intensive stabilization and support in a safe and secure environment.
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP): Provides structured daytime treatment while allowing clients to return home each evening.
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP): Offers intensive therapy and support in a less restrictive setting.
  • Outpatient therapy: Individual and group therapy sessions tailored to address specific needs and goals.

Multidisciplinary Team Expertise

Central to our schizoaffective disorder treatment approach is our multidisciplinary team of experts. Our team brings together diverse expertise and perspectives to provide comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for schizoaffective disorder.

Our team is composed of:
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Therapists
  • Other mental health professionals
Our team has specialized training and experience in treating complex mental health conditions. They work together to create personalized treatment plans that address the specific needs of each client.
We understand that schizoaffective disorder treatment takes a nuanced and individualized approach, and our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care.

Individualized Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment Plans

At Mile High Recovery Center, we recognize that every person’s journey with schizoaffective disorder is unique. That’s why we prioritize individualized treatment plans that are tailored to the specific needs, preferences, and goals of each client.
Through comprehensive assessments and ongoing evaluation, we work closely with clients to develop personalized treatment goals and strategies. Our approach integrates evidence-based therapies, such as:
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Medication management
  • Holistic interventions

Evidence-Based Interventions for Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment

Mile High Recovery Center integrates evidence-based approaches specifically tailored to address the unique needs of those with schizoaffective disorder. These interventions, combined with our unwavering support and compassionate care, empower clients to manage symptoms and reclaim their lives.

Pharmacological Treatments and Medication Adherence Support

Our approach to pharmacological treatments is guided by evidence-based practices and individualized assessments.

Medication Management

Our board-certified psychiatrists carefully assess each client’s needs and prescribe medications, when necessary. These medications are used to manage symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, and mood swings.
These may include:
  • Antipsychotics
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Antidepressants

Medication Adherence Support

We understand that adhering to medication regimens can be challenging. Our team provides ongoing support and education to help clients understand the benefits of medication and develop strategies for consistent adherence.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT helps people identify and challenge negative thought patterns that contribute to emotional distress and dysfunctional behaviors.

Through CBT, clients can learn coping skills to:
  • Manage symptoms
  • Improve problem-solving abilities
  • Enhance well-being

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT equips people with skills to:
  • Manage intense emotions
  • Regulate their distress tolerance
  • Improve communication
  • Build healthy relationships
This approach can be particularly helpful for those struggling with emotional dysregulation and interpersonal difficulties.

Trauma-Focused Therapy

For those with a history of trauma, trauma-focused therapy can help address the underlying emotional wounds and develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage their impact on the present.


We provide comprehensive education about schizoaffective disorder, including its:
  • Symptoms
  • Causes
  • Treatment options
  • Coping strategies
This knowledge empowers clients to take an active role in their recovery journey and helps their family members understand and support them effectively.

Family Therapy

Educating and equipping families with skills to support their loved ones living with schizoaffective disorder is crucial for successful recovery.

Family therapy sessions provide a safe space for:

  • Open communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Building healthy relationships

Holistic Care and Wellness Promotion in Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment

At Mile High Recovery Center, we recognize that recovery is a multifaceted journey that extends beyond symptom management. We believe in fostering a holistic approach that addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of those living with schizoaffective disorder.
By incorporating these elements into a schizoaffective disorder treatment plan, we empower clients to cultivate a sense of wholeness and enhance their quality of life.

Mindfulness-Based Practices and Stress Management Techniques

Mindfulness practices and stress management techniques are crucial tools for managing symptoms and promoting well-being.
We offer a variety of options, including:
  • Mindfulness meditation: We incorporate mindfulness practices like meditation to help people become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations without judgment. This can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve emotional regulation.
  • Stress management techniques: We teach various stress management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and relaxation imagery. These techniques equip clients with tools for managing everyday stressors.

Recreational Therapy and Leisure Activities

Engaging in enjoyable activities is vital for promoting a sense of purpose, reducing stress, and improving quality of life.
We offer a variety of recreational activities, including:
  • Art therapy: Expressing oneself creatively can be a powerful tool for emotional processing, stress management, and self-discovery.
  • Music therapy: Music can evoke emotions, improve mood, and provide a sense of relaxation and enjoyment.
  • Outdoor activities: Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and promote well-being.
  • Social connection: Taking part in group activities and building healthy relationships can provide a sense of belonging, support, and enjoyment.

Find Effective Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment at Mile High Recovery Center

If you or a loved one is navigating the challenges of schizoaffective disorder, we invite you to take the first step toward healing with Mile High Recovery Center.

Our compassionate team of experts is here to provide the comprehensive and compassionate care you deserve, guiding you on a transformative journey toward wellness.

Contact us at 303-268-2144 to learn more about our schizoaffective disorder treatment programs, holistic approach, and commitment to supporting you on your path to recovery.

Together, we can embark on a journey of hope, healing, and empowerment. Your life-long journey toward well-being begins here at Mile High Recovery Center.

Table of Contents

Reach Out Today to See How Mile High Recovery Center Can Help You Heal

If you or a loved one are ready to regain autonomy over your lives and well-being, recovery starts here. Let us guide you toward sustainable wellness and sobriety through our personalized treatment plans tailored to your unique needs and experiences. We look forward to hearing from you!